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First Grammy Award Winner from India

The Grammy Awards, established in 1959, annually honor outstanding achievements in the music industry. Recognized as the highest accolade in the field, the Grammys celebrate excellence in various categories, including performance, production and composition, spanning genres from classical to contemporary and showcasing the diverse talents of musicians worldwide.

First Grammy Award Winner from India

Ravi Shankar, the legendary Indian sitar virtuoso and composer, was the first Grammy Award winner from India. He received the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance in 1967 for his collaboration with violinist Yehudi Menuhin on the album “West Meets East.” Shankar’s innovative approach to Indian classical music and his collaborations with Western musicians significantly contributed to the global recognition and popularly of Indian music during the 1960s and 1970s.

Contributions of Pandit Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar made profound contributions to the field of music, particularly in the realm of Indian classical music. Here are some of his significant contributions:

  1. Ravi Shankar played a pivotal role in introducing Indian classical music to international audiences. His extensive touring in Europe and the Americans during the 1950s and 1960s helped popularize the intricate and emotive sounds of Indian ragas.
  2. Shankar collaborated with Western musicians, most notably George Harrison of the Beatless and violinist Yehudi Menhium. Through these collaborations, he bridged the gap between Eastern and Western musical traditions, contributing to the emergence of a fusion genre that influenced a wide range of artists.
  3. Shankar’s association with George Harrison and his participation in the Monetary Pop Festival and Woodstock brought Indian music to the forefront of the counterculture movement of the 1960s. This influence is evident in the use of Indian instruments and musical elements in Western popular music.
  4. Ravi Shankar developed a distinctive playing style on the sitar, exploring the bass octave for alap sections and employing quick deviations and stops on the main playing string. His innovative techniques expanded the possibilities of the sitar as a versatile and expressive instrument.
  5. Shankar composed music for several Indian films, most notably the acclaimed Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray. His film compositions showcased the versatility of Indian classical music and its ability to enhance cinematic storytelling.
  6. Shankar founded the Kinnara School of Music in Mumbai in 1962, contributing to the preservation and propagation of Indian classical music. He also served as a teacher, sharing his knowledge with students and fostering the next generation of musicians.
  7. Shankar received numerous awards and honors, including five Grammy Awards. His album “The Concert for Bangladesh” won the Album of the Year Grammy in 1973. In 1999, he was awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, for his exceptional contributions to the cultural heritage of the country.

List of Grammy Award Winners from India

Here is the complete list of Grammy Award Winners from India:

Year Name Category Won for
1968 Ravi Shankar Best Chamber Music Performance West Meets East
1973 Ravi Shankar Album of the Year The Concert for Bangladesh
1981 Zubin Mehta Best Classical Performer – Instrumental Soloist Or Soloists (with Orchestra) Isaac Stern 60th Anniversary Celebration
1981 Zubin Mehta Best Engineered Recording, Classical Isaac Stern 60th Anniversary Celebration
1982 Zubin Mehta Best Classical Performance, Instrumental Soloist (with Orchestra) Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 In A Minor/Glazunov: Violin Concerto In

A Minor

1990 Zubin Mehta Best Classical Vocal Performance Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti In Concert
1990 Zubin Mehta Best World Music Album Planet Drum
1991 T. H. Vinayakram and Zakir Hussain Best World Music Album Planet Drum
1992 Vishwa Mohan Bhatt Best World Music Album Planet Drum
2002 Ravi Shankar Best World Music Album Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000
2008 A. R. Rahman, H. Sridhar, P. A. Deepak Best Compilation Soundtrack Album Slumdog Millionaire
2008 A. R. Rahman, H. Sridhar, P. A. Deepak Best song written for Visual Media Slumdog Millionaire
2008 Zakir Hussain Best Contemporary World Music Album Global Drum Project
2013 Ravi Shankar Lifetime Achievement Award Honorary
2013 Ravi Shankar Best World Music Album The Living Room Sessions Pt. 1
2015 Rickey Kej Best New Age Album Winds of Samsara
2015 Neela Vaswani Best Children’s Album I Am Malala
2022 Ricky Kej, along with Stewart Copeland, P. A. Deepak Best New Age Album Divine Tides
2022 Falu Best Children’s Music Album A Colorful World

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